A FORMER Bradford Bulls star who was due to stand in a hotly-contested by-election has had his candidacy revoked after historic "highly offensive" tweets emerged.

Ross Peltier, who is a Jamaican rugby league international, was selected by the Green Party as its candidate for the upcoming Batley and Spen by-election. 

It came after the position was vacated by former Labour MP Tracy Brabin, who was elected as the first ever Mayor of West Yorkshire.

Peltier, who lives with his partner and young children in the constituency and now plays for Doncaster Dons, described his "passion" for local community on being selected and said he feels "in tune with the attitudes, needs and wants from the area through living and working shoulder to shoulder with everyday people within the community".

Councillor Andrew Cooper, who leads the Greens on Kirklees Council of which Batley and Spen Constituency is a part, also said Peltier could "capture the imagination of local people" and is "a role model for so many".

But over the weekend "homophobic" tweets made by the rugby league player around 2011 and 2012 have seen the Green Party take decisive action to remove Peltier from standing.

A statement published on the party's website yesterday said: "We were very sorry to learn of Ross Peltier's historic but highly offensive tweets.

"We are clear that people grow and change and should not be limited by youthful mistakes.

"But, as a party that champions the rights of LGBTIQA+ people and their support communities, we do not feel it is right for Ross to be the party's candidate for Batley and Spen by-election."

Peltier himself took to Twitter initially on Saturday evening (June 5) to address the matter.

He said: "A few tweets have come to light from around 10/9 years ago from when I was 19 years of age.

"The language used is not acceptable or appropriate in any way shape or form.

"In no way am I homophobic.

"I am sorry if my old tweets have caused harm or upset to anybody.

"But my growth as a person since the time of those tweets has been immeasurable.

"I hope I can be judged on my character now and not of when I was 19-years-old."

This sparked outrage among many who wanted action and not words, feeling the apology seemed insincere.

Peltier replied to one person, who has since deleted their tweet, that same evening.

He said: "What else can I do other than genuinely apologise for using language I wouldn’t dream of using now.

"What I’m doing now is I'm working in my community every day trying to improve the lives of everyone who lives here.

"Those tweets are not representative of the person who I am today."

There were those who supported the former Bulls star, contemplating whether someone should be judged on something they published a decade ago.

Peltier came out with a further statement on Twitter this morning, following the news of his removal.

He said: "My candidacy has now been revoked and I will not be standing in the Batley and Spen by-election.

"I fully understand and respect the decision made.

"Firstly, as stated in my apology, the words used are terrible and not acceptable in any way shape or form.

"My apology was taken as insincere because of how it was worded, I truly am sorry.

"I don't have a campaign team or anyone advising me and that was me genuinely trying to admit wrongdoing and apologise.

"I have reached out to a number of organisations and want to better my education and give time to work with the LGBTQ+ community.

"I just hope in time I can prove to people I have evolved since the time of the tweets and I am trying to truly make amends for my past language."

The Green Party is now in the process of replacing Peltier.